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Local school leaders react to Leon County's withdrawal from mask mandate ban appeal

What's next for the district after stepping back
Posted at 10:33 PM, Nov 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 11:53:30-05

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — "We support the freedom of our local control and our school board to make decisions that are in the best interest of our students and staff."

Scott Mazur, the President of the Leon Classroom Teachers Association (LCTA), said on Tuesday following Leon County School's decision to pull out of an appeal over mask mandate bans in schools.

"The lawsuit was so they could have local control."

Leon County Schools will no longer be a part of that multi-county appeal over a state mask mandate ban. This comes just days after they were ready to take on the Florida Department of Health and the emergency rule barring mask requirements in schools across the state.

Tuesday, Superintendent Rocky Hanna said in a Tweet; it's no longer prudent to take on a short-term legal remedy to find where the line is drawn between state and local rights.

Mazur with LCTA added, "they [school board] were looking at the positivity rates and it was always follow the science and have local control so we can follow the science."

The Leon Classroom Teacher's Association is standing by keeping local freedom in government so the school board can protect students, staff, and the community.

"The Governor said that entities should do what's in the best interest of their communities, our community did that, and then at the same time were told that they couldn't."

LCS School Board Member, Alva Striplin, took to Twitter on Tuesday and said pursuing the legal route is a waste of taxpayer dollars and standing down is the only way to stop an endless fight.

"There's always a cost to litigation but given there's a group of school districts splitting the cost it hasn't been that expensive."

That's what attorney, Jamie Cole, who is representing the appeal told ABC 27 on Tuesday. Cole says the case will continue without Leon County in the 4th District Court of Appeals with Miami-Dade, Alachua, Broward, and Duval Counties.

"It's been our pleasure to represent Leon County, it's been a pleasure working with them."

District spokesman, Chris Petley, said they'll now be focusing on getting back to business on running the school system.